What should be on your Back Cover?

by CJ McDaniel // September 10  

The content of your back cover could determine whether someone purchases your book or not. It is essential to know the basics of a back cover so that your book will get the attention it truly deserves.

The front cover is the most important part of a book as it grabs the attention of the customers and entices them to buy the book.  However, you should not disregard the power of the back cover. Like the front cover, it should also grab the attention of readers, otherwise they will return it to the shelf. So, what should be on your back coverto make your readers buy the book? Aside from fantastic content, there are several practical items required.

Back Cover: Practical Items

You will need a barcode, price, ISBN and genre so that the store can sell your book. The ISBN, or International Standard Book Number, allows bookstores to include your book in their database.  It also distinguishes your book from the others, especially if there are similar titles.

Without the ISBN, barcode and price printed on the back of your book, it’s possible that your book will be rejected from stores since it can create problems when the book is entered in their database.

Finally, you also need to categorize the genre of your book. For example, Mystery, Travel, Romance, Humor, Historical Fiction, etc. This genre category is important because it determines what section your book will reside in at the bookstore. Official categories can be found here.

Back Cover: Content

When you include endorsements on your back cover, limit them to two or three. If you have more, you can place them in your marketing materials or the inside part of the front page. Ensure that any endorsements are specific and clearly relate to your book.

You may also include a key passage from your book that can draw in the interest of the readers right away. Make sure that the passage is only a few lines, or at most, a short paragraph. This should be italicized or set in a different font to differentiate it from your summary.

One of the most important things to include on your back cover is a 1 or 2 paragraph summary of your book.  If your book is fiction, you can include the basic plot and what people can expect from the characters. On the other hand, if your book is non-fiction, write as if you can solve the problem of your readers. For instance, if your book is about self-help, you may want to include “Do you wish to have more happiness and money in your life?”  If you have room, you might want to include your brief autobiography and photograph.

About the Author

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!